Marketing Automation versus CRM

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We continue to hear from prospects that they are nurturing their prospects and its ok. As we delve further into the conversation however, it’s apparent that what they are doing is sending emails out through their CRM system and not really nurturing leads.  And of course, at the end of the conversation, they also confess that leads being sent and called by sales are not that qualified and the company is struggling to grow revenues.

CRM systems are really good at sales pipeline, forecasts, lead, account, contact distribution, customer support, etc.  However, the depth of tracking, nurturing, scoring, dynamic content delivery, landing page conversion, segmentation and more that is required for effective lead management is limiting.  In today’s internet driven world, you need to provide more details and trigger marketing off of more than opens, clicks and form fills.  Prospects are telling you what they are doing without interacting with you.  But unless you have the right technologies and processes in place to listen, capture and act on those digital behaviors, you won’t be able to drive the qualified leads and revenue needed.

Marketing Automation technologies are designed explicitly for that and should work seamlessly with CRM systems – utilizing the best of both systems.   The marketing automation system should be feeding your CRM system with qualified leads and additional sales intelligence.  It should provide prioritization and ranking of the leads. It should provide leads that are “sales ready” and not inquiries and suspects. It should be providing more intelligence for the sales rep about what the lead has been doing with your company over a period of time through the lead’s digital behavior.  This digital behavior is not simply opens and clicks but which pages they viewed for how long over what period of time.  And the marketing automation system should make sure that leads are not leaking out of your sales funnel but recovered and re-nurtured over time.

If you’re a marketer and you are still using only your CRM system for lead nurturing and lead management, you might be missing something…

3 Responses to “Marketing Automation versus CRM”

  1. Bojan Cubela February 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Lisa,

    You have been very persistent. I think your post today got me interested in what you have to say and offer. Although I am not in the process of evaluating your offering I am, however, doing consulting project for company that may be able to benefit from what you have to offer. I enjoyed your read today.

    Bojan

  2. Eric Albertson February 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Powerful post in my opinion. One additional perspective depends upon how much you value consistency of engagement. By necessity sales is opportunistic and narrow in focus… and horrible at doing anything consistently on a broad basis. An easy to use marketing automation platform is many good things but above all it’s consistent… and that makes all the difference in the world.

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